Okay sightly embarrassing confession coming up..I can’t swim. Well I can probably doggy paddle a width whilst resembling a drowning Spaniel, but that’s the extent of my abilities. It’s not through lack of trying either, not only did I have the compulsory swimming lessons you get as a kid at school, I also tried one on one private lessons and my fiance has also attempted to teach me on a couple of our holidays. But alas I am destined to be a land dweller!
For this reason I am really keen on Rafe being able to swim (you never know when I might need saving…joking!) I think it is such an important skill for safety and I’ve always avoided days out or trips that involve being in the water because of my fears and lack of ability to swim and also out of embarrassment. I don’t want Rafe to miss out on anything like this or feel this way. I have to be honest when we started looking at lessons for him I was very skeptical. Firstly we looked at several different baby swim schools and they were a bit costly and secondly I really doubted how much a baby could actually learn in the water at such a young age. But we eventually took the plunge (haha) and booked him in for some lessons with our local Puddleducks swimschool. I figured even if he wasn’t swimming by the end of it then it would be a nice morning activity for him and it would give us both a chance to do a bit of socialising…plus maybe I could learn something!
Rafe has just completed his third swimming lesson with Puddleducks and already I am converted. The lessons are absolutely brilliant and Rafe loves them. It’s not just splashing about, the babies are taught important safety skills for being around and in water, like how to get into a pool safely. By his second lesson Rafe was already confident being under water and was already going through hoops under the surface. They are taught to reach and kick their feet, how to prepare to go under the water and to spit the water out rather than swallowing it. Our instructor Lisa is fantastic, really good with all the babies and really clear when telling us mums (and the occasional dad) what to do. The lessons are also really well planned out and we do a different range of activities in each one, which include lots of singing and games to keep things fun and lighthearted. All the babies in Rafes swim class seem to love the sessions, and none of them are afraid of being in the water or going under it.
Puddleducks teaches babies of 0-4 years and then their swim academy goes from 4-10 years. Within the 0-4 year group are different categories to suit your baby, starting with ‘Floaties’ which is newborn to six months then ‘Splashers’ which is the group Rafe is in and goes from 6 months to 15 months. Next is ‘Kickers’ which is 15-30 months and lastly ‘Little dippers’ for children 30 months plus. Because of the way the ages are divided you can be sure you child is learning at a pace that suits them whilst still developing new skills and keeping them interested.
If you are wondering whether or not it’s worth getting your baby swimming lessons I personally really recommend it. Not only is it teaching them an essential skill that could possibly save their life, it is also very fun for them and is a great bonding opportunity. Also some friends of mine have also told me their babies have slept really well the night after swimming…unfortunately this hasn’t been the case for my little problem sleeper but he does tend to have a really good nap post swim sesh!